99 Points - Jeb Dunnuck - “A wine that will be a candidate for perfection at maturity, the 2015 Valandraud is a heavenly wine that exhibits a deep, saturated ruby/purple color as well as a sensational bouquet of blackcurrants, cassis, crème caramel, graphite, and chocolate. This full-bodied, expansive, super concentrated 2015 is a hedonistic dream and has exceptional purity, balance, and equilibrium. While it offers pleasure today, it needs short-term cellaring and will keep for 20+ years.
98 Points - James Suckling - “Plenty of toasty oak and extract here. This has immensely concentrated fruits with powerful yet silky tannins. Blackberry and dark-plum aromas dominate the nose with hints of dark chocolate and candied orange. Flavors follow suit amid fluid, muscular tannins that hold long into the finish. Great wine. Try from 2023.
97 Points - Antonio Galloni - “A gorgeous, arrestingly beautiful wine, the 2015 Valandraud delivers on all the promise it showed as a barrel sample, and then some. Soft contours and layers of sumptuous fruit add to its considerable appeal. Readers will have to give the 2015 at least a few years to develop aromatic complexity. Today, the wine's off-the-charts intensity and opulence are attention-grabbing, to be sure, but the best is yet to come. This is a superb showing from Jean-Luc Thunevin and Murielle Andraud. The 2015 is 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, all fermented in barrel.
95 Points - Neal Martin - “The 2015 Valandraud has a very perfumed bouquet, quite feisty in the glass with macerated black cherries, griottes, blueberry jam and graphite. It feels impenetrable at the moment and constitutes one of the most opaque Valandrauds that I have encountered just after bottling. The palate is smooth as satin on the entry: well-judged acidity, neatly integrated new oak, quite rich but well balanced with a sumptuous blackberry and cassis finish that lingers in the mouth. This is a classy offering from Jean-Luc Thunevin, although it deserves several years in bottle. Anticipated maturity: 2022 - 2045.
Château Valandraud is located in the St. Emilion appellation of Bordeaux. The château is the home of Jean-Luc Thunevin and Murielle Andraud, Bordeaux Wine Merchants who purchased parcels of land across St. Emilion, bit by bit. Due to this, Thunevin is thought of as a pioneer of the ‘garagiste movement’. The name Valandraud comes from a mix of ‘Vallon de Fongaban’ (where the vines are planted) and Andraud is owner Murielle’s maiden name. In 1995, Valandraud was given a better rating by Robert Parker than Château Pétrus.
Bordeaux is not only the most famous wine producing region in France but in the world, with the most prestigious châteaux and wines in the industry. Its history dates back to the Roman times and today is the largest producing region of fine wines. Vineyards in Bordeaux are known by châteaux and therefore the name of each individual château is an important brand.
Many top wines are sold ‘En Primeur’ meaning that they are sold in the barrel prior to bottling. Almost 90% of the wine produced in Bordeaux is red (called ‘Claret’ in the UK) from over 8,500 producers. The main reason for the success of the wine production in Bordeaux is the perfect combination of climate, with long hours of sunshine ideal for ripening the grapes and well-draining gravel soil. Appellations are an important part of the Bordeaux culture and the region has 54 appellations recognized by the AOC, the Appellation d’Origine Controlle.
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